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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:23 AM   #1
LCIII
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SEATTLE | Amazon Towers | 160m | 524ft | 159m | 521ft | 159m | 520ft | 37 fl x 3 | U/C



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Amazon to buy Denny Triangle property; plans 3 big office towers

In one of Seattle's biggest real-estate deals in years, Amazon.com has agreed to buy three blocks from Clise Properties and plans to build a 1 million-square-foot office tower on each.
By Eric Pryne






In one of Seattle's biggest real-estate deals in years, fast-growing Amazon.com has agreed to buy three blocks in Seattle's Denny Triangle — and preliminary paperwork has been filed with the city to build a 1 million-square-foot office tower on each of them.
The properties have been owned for decades by Seattle's Clise family, which signed a purchase-and-sale agreement with Amazon several weeks ago, Clise Properties Chairman Al Clise said late Wednesday.
The deal includes options for Amazon to buy even more of Clise's extensive Denny Triangle holdings, he added.
"In terms of economic development and new jobs for Seattle, this is off the charts," Clise said.
An Amazon spokeswoman did not return an email seeking comment.
The three contiguous blocks Amazon is buying are bounded roughly by Westlake Avenue, Sixth Avenue and Blanchard Street. Most of the property is parking lots; but other users include the King Cat Theater, Toyota of Seattle and the Sixth Avenue Inn motel.
Seneca Group, a Seattle real-estate advisory firm working with Clise and Amazon, filed papers with Seattle's Department of Planning and Development on Wednesday for "development of an approximately 1 million-square-foot office building with accessory parking" on each of the three blocks.
"This would be world-class," Clise said of the development. "It jibes with what our vision has always been."
He declined to give the sale price or other terms of the deal, or say when the sale is expected to close.
If built, the three buildings would contain nearly twice as much office space as the Columbia Center, Seattle's tallest building.
They also would more than double Amazon's already substantial footprint on downtown's northern edge.
Vulcan Real Estate is completing a 1.7-million-square-foot headquarters complex for the online retailer in South Lake Union, and over the past two years Amazon has leased an additional 1 million square feet in that neighborhood and the Denny Triangle.
But all that space is rented. The Clise blocks would be Amazon's first venture into office development and ownership.
Zoning approved in 2006 allows towers as tall as 500 feet on the blocks.
The parcels make up a big chunk of a 13-acre collection of Denny Triangle properties that Clise put up for sale in 2007, attracting international attention.
The family, which began accumulating the parcels in the 1920s, said it envisioned a master-planned community on the scale of New York's Rockefeller Center.
Clise pulled the collection off the market less than a year later, citing the global credit crunch, although its real-estate adviser said bids had topped $600 million.
Al Clise said at the time that the family would not sell off the collection in pieces.
That's still its intent, he said Wednesday: "We very much do not want to break up this assemblage," he said, noting Amazon's options to buy more from Clise.
But he wouldn't say whether those options include all the remaining properties.
Bryan Stevens, a spokesman for the city's Department of Planning and Development, said the paperwork for the office towers filed Wednesday includes no details — just the property addresses and one-line descriptions of the proposals.
A "pre-submittal conference" with planners is Feb. 23, he said, and the applicant may provide more details then.

Seattle Times

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http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/AppDocs/G...endaID3562.pdf









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FINAL: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/AppDocs/G...endaID3744.pdf
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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:26 AM   #2
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Amazon's big property deal: Seattle landowner Al Clise talks
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) on Thursday, February 16, 2012, 4:58pm PST

Seattle landowner Al Clise, who is in the midst of a huge land sale to Amazon.com Inc., said his family’s 13-acre swath of the city's Denny Triangle area was not on the market last fall when Seattle real estate consulting firm Seneca Group approached him on behalf of Amazon.

“We were one of many they were talking to about leasing office space,” Clise said. “Those conversations evolved into what we have today.”

Rather than leasing office space from Clise Properties, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) decided instead to buy three full blocks near the company’s South Lake Union headquarters from Clise Properties, a longtime closely held Seattle company. The online retailer also has options to buy additional property over time.

There were no competing buyers.

“Nobody else was interested in it. It was not officially on the market,” Clise said. “We withdrew it from the market a number of years ago and never put it back out on the market.”

Clise would not say how much property was under option, but he said it was “significant and would allow them to handle their future needs.”

The online retailer has filed preliminary plans with the city of Seattle to build three office towers of 1million square feet each. Each tower would include parking and sit on its own block. Seattle architecture firm NBBJ will design the project.

Clise said his firm, Clise Properties, would not develop Amazon’s newest properties.

Amazon won’t need any zoning variances to build the enormous towers, Clise said. Current zoning allows buildings up to 500 feet in height and containing a million square feet or more on the parcels that Amazon is purchasing, he said.

Clise would not say how much money he’s getting for his family’s property. “Hopefully, we will redeploy it to grow our company and grow value for our shareholders,” he said.

“We still have property and development sites that are exciting to us,” Clise said. “We’ll work on those and may buy new stuff as well.”

Clise said he is very pleased with the pending transaction. The family did not want to sell its properties piecemeal but wanted a buyer with a master plan that could do something exceptional.

“You’ve got a longtime closely held Seattle family business now essentially partnering with a relatively new tech giant, and it’s all Seattle homegrown,” Clise said. “It’s a cool story.”
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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #3
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Amazon’s Plans for Three New Towers May Swell Seattle Office Market by 7%
By Hui-yong Yu - Feb 16, 2012 11:31 PM PT

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) plans to build three commercial towers in Seattle, potentially increasing the city’s downtown office space by 7 percent, based on the company’s preliminary development plans and figures from CBRE Group Inc. (CBG)

The largest Internet retailer, based in Seattle, agreed to buy three contiguous blocks from Clise Properties Inc. and has options to buy additional “significant” sites nearby, said Chairman Al Clise, the fourth-generation head of the family- owned developer. He declined to disclose terms of the sale, scheduled to be completed later this year. It would be Amazon’s first land purchase.

“Amazon wants to plan for their future,” Clise said in a telephone interview yesterday. “The amount of new jobs and infrastructure and economic development this will provide is just amazing.”

Seattle’s downtown office market of 42.7 million square feet (3.97 million square meters) is “one of the strongest- performing” in the U.S., CBRE said in a fourth-quarter report. Office landlords had a net gain in occupied space for the seventh straight quarter, fueled by technology companies such as Amazon, according to the brokerage firm. Vacancies in the South Lake Union submarket, where Amazon is based, fell to 9 percent, compared with almost 18 percent for downtown Seattle as a whole.

“Developer confidence is building, with over 17 million square feet of office space in the planning stage,” CBRE said in the report, which didn’t account for the Amazon plans.

Planning Documents
The company’s three towers would have as much as 3 million square feet of space, according to preliminary documents filed Feb. 15 with the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

The retailer’s property consultant, Seattle-based Seneca Real Estate Group Inc., filed the paperwork yesterday to begin the process of obtaining permits for three buildings of about 1 million square feet each, at 2001, 2100, and 2101 Seventh Ave., according to the planning department’s website.

The land is zoned for office buildings as high as 500 feet (152 meters), or about 40 stories, according to the department.

Michele Glisson, an Amazon spokeswoman, declined to comment.

The property in the Amazon deal, now mainly occupied by low-rise buildings and parking lots, is part of a 12.5-acre (5 hectare) parcel that Clise put up for sale in 2007, hoping to attract $600 million. The credit crisis prompted the company to take it off the market in April 2008. Clise wanted to sell to one buyer in hopes of spurring a unified development on the property, said Al Clise, whose family has owned some of the land since the early 1900s.

‘World-Class’ Development
“We always thought a master-plan corporate headquarters, world-class type of development, is what needed to happen,” he said. “If it didn’t, we felt it would be a lost opportunity.”

Clise Properties’ triangular parcel is located just north of Seattle’s central business district and immediately south of South Lake Union, the neighborhood where Amazon moved its headquarters in 2010. The land is bordered by Denny Way, Westlake Avenue and Fifth Avenue.

The company leased 4.3 million square feet of offices as of Dec. 31, and an additional 44.1 million square feet of warehouse space, data centers and related facilities, according to its annual report.

Amazon employed about 56,200 people, including part-time workers, as of Dec. 31, up from 20,700 employees at the end of 2008 and 7,500 a decade ago, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Amazon surpassed Samsung Electronics Co. as the No. 2 seller of tablet computers in the last quarter, shipping 3.89 million units, according to research firm IHS Inc.


Bloomberg news
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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:31 AM   #4
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Amazon consultant pegs 3 future buildings' value at $200M each

Amazon wants the city to consider the projects on all three blocks together, as a single "planned community development."

By Eric Pryne
Seattle Times business reporter

Amazon.com's real-estate consultant has estimated the value of the office towers the online retailer plans to build on three blocks in Seattle's Denny Triangle at $600 million.
The "project valuations" — $200 million for development on each of the three blocks — are included in preliminary paperwork that consultant Seneca Group filed with city planners earlier this month.
It's unclear whether those numbers reflect just construction costs, or something more. A Seneca principal did not respond to requests for more information.
Amazon has agreed to buy the three blocks — bounded roughly by Westlake Avenue, Sixth Avenue and Blanchard Street — from Clise Properties and build office towers on each of them to handle its explosive growth.
While few details of Amazon's plans have surfaced — the company isn't talking — the handful of documents in the files of the city's Department of Planning and Development do provide some nuggets.
They also raise a question: Just how many buildings does Amazon plan to construct?
In its "pre-submittal conference" applications, Seneca Group says Amazon's plan is to build a 1 million-square-foot office building — singular — on each of the three blocks.
But preliminary site plans from architect NBBJ in the same document show footprints for two new buildings on each block.
Which is it?
"That's unclear," said Alan Justad, a spokesman for the planning department. "It's possible there could be a small as well as a large (building) on each of the blocks."
More details should be available soon, he added.
Documents submitted by Seneca say each block's development would provide ground-floor retail space and underground parking for 1,000 vehicles.
They also hint the development might include a large auditorium, with 1,000 to 2,000 seats, that would be available for public use after business hours.
Amazon wants the city to consider the projects on all three blocks together, as a single "planned community development," for purposes of determining what "public benefits" the company should provide or fund in return for permission to build more densely.
According to the city, public benefits for such developments may include low-income housing, historic preservation and public open space. If planners are satisfied with Amazon's plans, zoning allows towers up to 500 feet tall on each of the blocks.
The department has scheduled a public meeting March 13 to discuss the sites and public-benefit priorities. The city's Downtown Design Review Board will consider preliminary design proposals for the buildings — plans that haven't yet been submitted — March 27.
Real-estate sources say final sale of the blocks to Amazon probably is contingent on city approval of the projects. Clise Properties Chairman Al Clise has declined to say what Amazon is paying.
For reference, in fall 2007 Clise sold a full block nearby — 1.9 acres — to Canadian condo developers for nearly $49.9 million, or about $597 per square foot. That block remains undeveloped.
The blocks Amazon is buying total about 5.2 acres.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #5
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Option 1
image hosted on flickr

Amazon/Clise/NBBJ by LCCIII, on Flickr

Option 1 description
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Amazon/Clise/NBBJ by LCCIII, on Flickr

Preferred Scheme
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Amazon/Clise/NBBJ by LCCIII, on Flickr

I like the sound of the Preferred Scheme the most of the 4 options but even Option 1 would make me happy. It wouldnt maximize the potential of the area from a pedestrian standpoint but it would sure add some awesome highrise density in a place thats currently parking lots- a win in my book!
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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #6
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And obviously thats not the design but just what the allowed massing is according to the exact letter of the law.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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suddenly it seems like seattle is going to be having a construction boom...so excited for actual renderings
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Old March 10th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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I'm right there with you! I can't wait to see what NBBJ is cooking up! I love their work in Seattle.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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A chance for Amazon towers to go taller??

I was concerned when I saw the "blocky" diagram for the 3 proposed Amazon towers on SkycraperCity. But it sounds like some people may be pushing for Amazon to go taller (currently 3 buildings, all of them only 37 stories, really?) in exchange for more open space... sounds like a good plan! saw it on DJC's Seattlescape blog. Would be cool if Amazon went up and built a REAL skyscraper (or two)- its been a LONG time since we had one..
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Old March 14th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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They won't. They're staying within the height limits. 500' it is.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:47 PM   #11
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Massing study posted in first post.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 09:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbnHusky View Post
I was concerned when I saw the "blocky" diagram for the 3 proposed Amazon towers on SkycraperCity. But it sounds like some people may be pushing for Amazon to go taller (currently 3 buildings, all of them only 37 stories, really?) in exchange for more open space... sounds like a good plan! saw it on DJC's Seattlescape blog. Would be cool if Amazon went up and built a REAL skyscraper (or two)- its been a LONG time since we had one..
Hear Hear....
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Old March 28th, 2012, 08:39 AM   #13
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Amazon's architects offer some details on towers, skybridges
The online retailer could take up to eight years to complete its proposed three-block high-rise project, the largest development ever proposed downtown.

By Eric Pryne
Seattle Times business reporter

Amazon.com's proposed three-block high-rise office complex in Seattle's Denny Triangle could take as long as eight years to finish, a project architect revealed Tuesday night.
The blocks would be developed in phases, one block at a time, with two to four years between each phase, John Savo of NBBJ told the city's Downtown Design Review Board.
Amazon's proposed timing was among the new details that surfaced at the review board's first meeting to consider the preliminary design of the complex, at 3.3 million square feet the largest development ever proposed downtown.
The block closest to downtown — between Sixth, Seventh and Westlake avenues and Virginia and Lenora streets — probably would be developed first, he added.
More than 100 people crowded into the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall to hear presentations from Savo and Dale Alberda, another project architect.
No Amazon official spoke.
While most attention so far has been focused on the tower of up to 37 stories that would be the centerpiece of each block, Savo and Alberda said each block also would have shorter buildings — up to six stories — that would be linked to the tower on that block by one or two skybridges.
On the block likely to be developed first, a small bridge would link the tower to a 40,000-square-foot auditoriumlike building seating 2,000 that Amazon plans to build along Lenora Street, Savo said.
The online retailer's current Seattle offices lack such a meeting space, he added. It would be "more like a ballroom in a hotel" than an auditorium, Savo said, and could be broken up into smaller spaces if needed.
Amazon hasn't yet decided whether it would be open for noncompany events, he added. But the 50-foot-wide courtyard between the tower and the meeting building would serve as a public passage between Sixth and Seventh avenues and a "pre-function" area for auditorium events, Alberda said.
On the block between Sixth, Seventh, Lenora and Blanchard, two skybridges about two or three stories tall would connect the tower with a six-story structure, bridging a 100-foot wide plaza that would cut through the block.
That space might be used for performances, Alberda said.
Board member Brian Scott expressed doubts: "It could be like walking under the freeway," he said.
Street-level retail would be concentrated along Seventh and Westlake avenues, Savo said. Amazon also has proposed a plaza with what Alberda called a "retail courtyard" at the South Lake Union Trolley stop at Seventh and Westlake, and another significant chunk of open space wrapping around the base of the high-rise at Eighth, Westlake and Lenora.
The blocks Amazon proposes to redevelop are now mostly parking lots, but construction would require demolition of the Sixth Avenue Inn hotel, the King Cat Theater and the Toyota of Seattle dealership.
Fast-growing Amazon already has a big office footprint in Seattle, even without the towers. It leases about 2.7 million square feet in downtown's northern reaches, including a 1.7 milllion-square-foot headquarters complex Vulcan Real Estate is completing for the online retailer in South Lake Union.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 07:32 AM   #14
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New designs!

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/AppDocs/G...endaID3590.pdf

Last edited by LCIII; May 4th, 2012 at 08:22 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #15
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They should really come up with something to match the name, Amazon. Like this one for example.

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Old May 4th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #16
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Amazon is growing so fast do you think three towers will be enough?
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Old May 5th, 2012, 12:44 AM   #17
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image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Amazon/NBBJ/Clise by LCCIII, on Flickr
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Old May 5th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad View Post
They should really come up with something to match the name, Amazon. Like this one for example.


Something like that would go nicely in Seattle, being the Emerald City and all. We have discussed that in the Seattle section several times. Someday, hopefully...
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Old May 5th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #19
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A 500 ft hedge?

There's a tower in Portland that's getting the Miracle Gro treatment but I don't think it would look very good in a much more urban setting such as Seattle.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 06:10 PM   #20
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Theyre like vertical parks- I love it. We had the skygarden proposal in like 2008 that fell through because of the economy crash but that's the closest we've gotten to anything like this.
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